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On Modelling Endogenous Default

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  • Dimitrios Tsomocos

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  • Lea Zicchino

Abstract

Not only in the classic Arrow-Debreu model, but also in many mainstream macro models, an implicit assumption is that all agents honour their obligations, and thus there is no possibility of default. That leads to well-known problems in providing an essential role for either money or for financial intermediaries. So, in more realistic models, the introduction of minimal financial institutions, for example default and banks, becomes a logical necessity. But if default involved no penalties, everyone would do so. Hence there must be default penalties to allow for an equilibrium with partial default. What we show here is that there is an equivalence between a general equilibrium model with incomplete markets (GEI) and endogeneous default, and a model with exogenous probabilities of default (PD). The practical, policy implications are that a key function of regulators (via bankruptcy codes and default legislation), or the markets (through default premia) are broadly substitutable. The balance between these alternatives depends, however, on many institutional details, which are not modelled here, but should be a subject for future research.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp548.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp548

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  1. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1995. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 3906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Páscoa, Mario Rui & Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de & Torres-Martínez, Juan Pablo, 2001. "Collateral Avoids Ponzi Schemes in Incomplete Markets," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 419, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  3. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Charles Goodhart & Pojanart Sunirand & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2004. "A time series analysis of financial fragility in the UK banking system," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24778, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Charles A.E. Goodhart & Pojanart Sunirand & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2004. "A Risk Assessment Model for Banks," OFRC Working Papers Series 2004fe11, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
  3. Oriol Aspachs & Charles Goodhart & Dimitrios Tsomocos & Lea Zicchino, 2007. "Towards a measure of financial fragility," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 37-74, January.
  4. Gunnar Bårdsen & Kjersti-Gro Lindquist & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2006. "Evaluation of macroeconomic models for financial stability analysis," Working Paper Series 6806, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

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